The Art of Baseball

Joel Libby, assistant professor of art at Walla Walla University, has had a painting of his accessioned into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s permanent collection. 

The piece is a 40-by-50-inch acrylic painting of pitcher Christy Matthewson, who was mostly known for his time spent with the New York Giants. 

Libby started exploring acrylic painting seriously in 2002 during his time as a student at WWU. He was introduced to the medium by Martha Mason, his professor at the time. In recent years, his work has been almost exclusively acrylic paintings. 

He has been a baseball fan since his childhood. “It’s a game that somehow juxtaposes a very elegant and wholesome side with a fiercely competitive and almost bellicose side,” Libby said. “It just really appeals to me.” 

The Matthewson painting is part of Libby’s series highlighting the first five players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

“The Baseball Hall of Fame is a storied organization that does an excellent job of keeping the history of our national pastime alive and relevant,” said Libby. “I am just so honored that they chose to accession this painting to their permanent collection, and I look forward to seeing it there this coming summer.”

To read more about the details of this painting, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame website.


This article was written by Makena Horton and originally appeared on the Walla Walla University website.

Image courtesy of Walla Walla University.


We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
1 Like

How cool is that! Joel Libby…I need to remember that name.
Baseball is certainly a great national past time. It is fun to play and not violent. It requires skill, agility, strength of various levels, and strategy. Presently, I am proud of them for keeping politics out of the sport and choosing to respect our USA and those who have kept it a free nation.

For someone raised in a country moved by soccer (real name “futebol”) like Brazil, watching a baseball game is a real challenge. Let alone football itself, that stops the action every 5 seconds, or 6 at the best… :roll_eyes: I quit trying to watch them many years ago.

It’s either soccer, basketball, or volleyball. Therefore, I have no ideas of what the article above may possibly mean… :innocent: :laughing:

1 Like

Well, they say that the hardest thing to do in any sport is to hit a fastball pitch. Whoever said that likely never tried to dunk from a free throw line.

Congratulations on this success! Quite an honor to be in the permanent collection and there will be thousands of fans who will view it every year in Cooperstown. It is an interesting place to go and see.

This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.